EPA Orders Pepsi to Correct Stormwater and Industrial Wastewater Violations in Oahu

March 11, 2005

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently ordered Pepsi Bottling Group to comply with Clean Water Act requirements at its bottling facility in Aiea, Oahu.

The EPA action cites the lack of a permit to discharge stormwater from the company's facility and associated unauthorized site stormwater discharges, which enter Halawa Stream and Pearl Harbor's East Loch. Pepsi Bottling also sent acidic industrial effluent to the city and county of Honolulu's sewers in violation of the low pH requirement under the EPA's general pretreatment regulations.

The company faces federal fines of up to $32,500 per day per violation if it fails to comply with the terms of the order.

"Any stormwater discharges from operations like Pepsi Bottling's must be properly permitted and have pollution controls in place to protect Hawaii's coastal waters and coral reefs," said Alexis Strauss, the EPA's director for water programs in the Pacific Southwest region. "The company must also properly treat its industrial wastewater before discharging it to the city's sewers."

In January, EPA and Department of Health inspectors found that the company:

* Did not have a sufficient stormwater runoff containment system for the its sugar storage area;

* Did not have proper procedures in place in its vehicle washing area to control runoff and sediment;

* Failed to pre-treat its sewage properly to permitted pH levels; and

* Had operated since at least 1992 without the proper general stormwater permit.

The EPA's order requires Pepsi Bottling to submit a revised stormwater permit application. The company will have 30 days to clean up its facility to prevent industrial pollutants from entering into stormwater runoff. The facility also must measure and submit pH monitoring results.

In three months, the company will need to submit for the EPA's approval a pH compliance plan and implement a training program that will ensure workers in manufacturing, cleaning or wastewater treatment can carry out proper waste management practices. The EPA found similar violations and has issued other compliance orders against Pepsi Bottling at some of its California facilities.

Low pH wastewater can cause sewer corrosion and collapses of sewer lines, that often result in sewer overflows and discharges of raw sewage. Sewer overflows can also be caused by oily and greasy wastes blocking sewer lines.

AWWA’s Hoffbuhr Comments on American Society of Civil Engineer's Infrastructure Report Card

Recently, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released its 2005 Report Card for America's Infrastructure with its updated grades on the condition of the country's roads, bridges, drinking water systems, transit systems, and schools among others.

Jack Hoffbuhr, executive director of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), issued the following statement concerning this report:

"U.S. citizens enjoy one of world's most magnificent water systems, with more than 700,000 miles of pipes serving some 250 million people. Much of this system was constructed through the ingenuity and sweat of previous generations, and we all share the responsibility of maintaining it.

"While the country's water utilities continue to provide the safest drinking water in the world, many pockets of aging water infrastructure require maintenance or replacement. The cost of repairs to our nation's water infrastructure is significant--at least $250 billion over the next three decades. For most utilities, this represents a challenge, not a crisis, and they will meet expenses through reasonable rate structures and other local charges.

"However, some utilities are more heavily challenged by expensive federal mandates such as Combined Sewer Overflow controls; by population declines and resulting stranded assets; by the costs of meeting new standards or security enhancements; or by economic hardship in the community. In these cases, a significant increase in federal support for water and wastewater infrastructure may be necessary.

"Good stewardship implies the need to increase investment in infrastructure over the next several decades. The time to start this important work is now.

Virginia Beach Public Utilities Selects Sewer Overflow-related Software

The Virginia Beach Department of Public Utilities (Public Utilities) selected ESRI's ArcGIS 9 software for its enterprise GIS solution after an extensive evaluation period. Implementation is scheduled for completion by September 2005.

"The scope of work will address a needed upgrade in Public Utilities from a previous legacy GIS," said Wayne Phelps, program manager for the Virginia Beach Department of Public Utilities. "It will create interfaces between GIS and the existing Hansen's Infrastructure Management System and water and sanitary sewer hydraulic models. It will incorporate GIS for raw water infrastructure that has not been updated since 1997. The solution will allow us to move from an eight-year-old, heavily customized legacy GIS, albeit a very successful system in past years, to a more current and efficient GIS."

ESRI will provide software, services, and other deliverables such as system installation, documentation, configuration/work flow reporting, geodatabase design documentation, on-site data migration, user training, and rollout support.

The city of Virginia Beach is the most populous city in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is the 38th largest city in the U.S. Public Utilities provides raw water transmission, water distribution services, and sanitary sewer wastewater collection services to Virginia Beach residents and businesses.

The impetus for the system implementation stemmed from the Public Utilities' recognition of the need to upgrade from an existing legacy system and to consolidate disparate information systems and applications. The department wanted to minimize software customization to reduce GIS life cycle costs. In addition, Virginia Beach wants to streamline internal infrastructure information processes ranging from project planning, design, and construction to operations and maintenance management of the department's facilities.

"This is an opportunity to integrate previously disparate data and work processes, optimize utility information management and utilization, increase overall efficiency and productivity, and minimize life cycle costs for GIS services," adds Phelps. "It is expected to improve the quality and timeliness of GIS services rendered to staff and customers."

Inventory records, valuations, map products, service calls, work order management, records maintenance, and more will be managed within, or depend on, the system. The implementation will also include a major redesign of utility infrastructure data models; improved data maintenance through versioning and metadata; and deployment of maps to the field.

Source: Stormwater Authority